Interest Grows in Codifying Green Standard for Homes
Vancouver Columbian (WA) (04/19/15) Fischer, Amy M.E.
In April, Vancouver, Wash.'s City Council considered a proposal to add the National Green Building Standard to city code, as well as provide guidelines for design, construction, and operation, and a uniform way to measure building performance. The effort to promote green building and remodeling demonstrates the city's commitment to social responsibility and sustainable development, according to Vancouver's building official Sree Thirunagari. The International Code Council and the National Home Builders Association wrote the National Green Building Standards for residential buildings. Points are awarded in several areas, such as energy and water conservation, reduced construction waste, and using locally-sourced materials. Depending on the number of points earned, homes can receive a bronze, silver, gold, or emerald certification from an independent third party. Salmon Creek, Wash., residents Mike and Robin Mooney built their Emerald-rated 2,300-square-foot home for $390,000. It features cork floors, quartz counter tops, heat-recovery ventilators, recirculating gas hot water heaters, exterior drain planes, carpets made from recycled milk jugs, and solar panels. Heating bills were $400 a month in their former Madison, Wis., home, but in the new home they sold $1,500 of energy back to Clark County Public Utilities.